Exodus is the name of the 1960 drama that recounts the intense and poignant founding of Israel. While it naturally has political currents running through it as well as military moments, the heart of it is really the people and their heritage.
At the center of the action is the Ben Canaan family, headed by actor Lee J. Cobb as the elder Ben Canaan. He is a man who adamantly believes his people have to take whatever action is necessary in order to win their cause. Playing Ari, his son is the superstar, Paul Newman. Ari does want peace, but he wants to go about it a bit differently. However, when pressed, he feels the need to do whatever is necessary for his people and the nation of Israel.
For those unaware of the struggle and the fight for Israel, the movie is actually a sort of education, informing the audience largely through the presence of a female character named Kitty Fremont, as played by Eva Marie Saint. Kitty is a widow who knows virtually nothing about what is going on. Indeed, she is quite naive about it all. She ends up changing more than any other character in the movie.
There are two love stories carried throughout the movie. The fist is between Newman and Saint. The other is between Sal Mineo and Jill Haworth who play the role of young lovers. Introduced separately, we first get to know them and then watch as they fall in love and deal with the complications of their situation.
Sadly, not all love stories end happily, and there is a tragic ending for one of them. Still, we learn and observe both with great interest.
I really enjoy the musical score to Exodus, which is simply fantastic. The main song has always given me chills. Many singers have performed it over the years, but in my opinion, none have done it better than Pat Boone.
While some scenes get a little long in the tooth, for the most part, it has me on board the whole time. From the essentially stealing of a ship to the tearful segments, Exodus is a lesson in life and tolerance.